Judging Pop Ups and Backs of Rowhouses

It’s been a while since we’ve taken a look at this pop up on Clifton between 13th and 14th Streets, NW. It’s looks like it’s nearly completed. So what do you think of the pop up and and the back – thumbs up or down?

18 Comment

  • you can make tasteful pop ups w/o cutting the top of the house off. i think it looks awful.

  • I’ll second that! This pop up looks aweful…I think it could been done without making it stick out like a sore thumb. Horrible!

  • I wish I could buy the house just to dismantle the thing.

  • I don’t know a lot about the rules of historic districts. I wonder if making my neighborhood (or 13th and Clifton, for that matter) a historic district would cause more trouble than it’s worth. But doing this to a beautiful home is an abomination that the city ought to prevent. This thing is an architectural monstrosity and if anyone knows the firm that designed it, please post so we can openly boycott them.

    The failure of imagination here is manifest. Why couldn’t they have rebuilt the roof to look original, raising it 3 feet? Or just added 3 feet on top of the roof cricket? Or, better yet, if they wanted a house that big, move to Reston.

    • Roof cricket. 🙂

    • Making it a historic district doesn’t stop this from happening. Maybe it forces the developer to be 20% more careful, but I saw some horrific renovations on the Capitol Hill Restoration Society’s renovation tour this year. I think all it does is create hurdles for homeowners.

  • Thumbs down.

  • sucks. they should at least paint the brick to match the top.

  • ug – leee

  • Could they have done a worse pop-up? I think not.

    Obviously there is no architect involved…. and if there is they should have been fired for this piece of crap.

    Considering many house buyers drive by houses when looking and sometimes don’t bother going in, they is going to screw them royally when they go to sell because everyone will see how ugly the place is and not even care about the square feet that were added by putting on the pop up. I wonder if they talked to the realtor that helped them buy this place? He/she would have likely cautioned them to be careful with pop-ups – even if they aren’t in an historical district.

  • horse’s ass. It has been “almost finished” for two years now. It is ugly and has been left open like a festering wound for too long now.

  • I would like the wall of windows such as the one shown on the front side of the pop-up installed on the top floor of the back of my house. I have city views, but very small windows and brick wall. How big of a job is it? the cost? and any recommendations?

    • Not cheap, but not technically very difficult. Most of the cost is in the actual window/doors you buy. You can research that your self.

      After that, you just need an appropriately sized beam to hold the weight of the roof and remaining wall. A structural engineer can figure that out in a few hours. The beam won’t be cheap for a span as wide as a house.

      Once you’ve figured all this out, hiring the contractor will be easier. You’ve done all the high markup stuff for him.

      You may also consider getting the permit yourself too. DCRA is much more friendly to homeowners than contractors.

  • Historic districts cause more trouble than they are worth, frankly. Everybody thinks that they have the right to decide what color you paint your front door. It makes home renovations a very expensive and lengthy process.

    This pop-up is very attractive in person – I pass it regularly, and it doesn’t look nearly as ugly from the street as this photo would make it appear.

    • This is so not true. There are no paint color restrictions in historic districts. Most projects go through absolutely unimpeded. The only time there is a delay is when a major alteration is going to be visible from a public right-of-way. Then review is necessary. This pop-up would never have happened on a street like this. POP, you should show the entire row of homes – forever marred by this ugly thing.

      So, to disagree – it looks even uglier in person than in the photograph.

  • It would be nice if the contractors in DC could learn to use the Pythagorean theorem (9th grade HS?) so that every renovation doesn’t have to have a 90Deg vertical wall.

  • Terrible. They couldve at least matched it to the existing house.

  • I was obviously exagerrating, Ruby, but even changing your front door must be approved by the historic preservation society, and I had a neighbor who had to spend weeks getting her very pretty six panel door approved, because somebody on the board didn’t like the design.

    The statement that most alterations go through unimpeded shows that you have not actually tried to get an alteration done.

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